OS-HELP Loan Information
What is an OS-HELP loan?
OS-HELP is a loan available to eligible undergraduate students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place who want to undertake some of their study overseas.
OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses. Students may receive one loan per six-month study period and can access a total of two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime.
How much can I borrow?
For 2013, the maximum you can borrow is $6,051 for a six-month study period.
The amount you can borrow using an OS-HELP loan is determined by the University in accordance with their OS-HELP policy, the OS-HELP Guidelines and the Higher Education Support Act 2003.
Who is eligible for an OS-HELP loan?
There are a number of criteria that a student must meet to be eligible for an OS-HELP loan.
The main criteria are that an applicant must be:
- an Australian citizen or a holder of a permanent humanitarian visa;
- a Commonwealth supported student enrolled in an undergraduate program of study;
- not have received OS-HELP on more than one other occasion, and
- selected by their university to receive an OS-HELP loan.
Students may only receive an OS-HELP loan after completing the first year of the course of study (equivalent full-time) and must have half a year of study (equivalent full-time) remaining on their return to Australia. The overseas study undertaken must count as credit towards the program of study at the home university.
Students undertaking their whole program outside Australia are not eligible for OS-HELP.
More information about the eligibility requirements for OS-HELP is available from the Fees and Scholarships office or on the Study Assist website.
Yes, OS-HELP is available for study periods of less than six months but students cannot receive an OS-HELP loan more than once for a given 6 month period. Students may only receive a maximum of two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime.
OS-HELP loan applications are available from the Hunter Hub. Once completed and submitted the application will be assessed against the eligibility criteria set under legislation and any other selection crieteria that the University may have set.
Applications are not available electronically as the document needs to be completed in triplicate.
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Is a loan fee applied to OS-HELP loans?
There will be NO loan fee on any OS-HELP loans with a debt incurral date on or after 1 January 2010
Please note that your OS-HELP debt is taken to be incurred on the day that the OS-HELP loan amount is paid to you. You will be required to repay your OS-HELP debt even if you do not complete your studies or, due to unforseen circumstances, you do not undertake or complete the overseas study that was approved by your university. Your OS-HELP debt will not be remitted under any circumstances. Your OS-HELP debt is reported to the Tax Office and will become a part of your accumulated HELP debt.
Your OS-HELP debt will not be remitted under any circumstances.
Your OS-HELP debt is reported to the Tax Office and will become a part of your accummulated HELP debt.
How much do I owe?
HELP debts are managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Therefore, for specific information on your HELP debt you will need to contact the ATO on 13 28 61. You can phone the ATO at any time during the year to request a HELP account information statement to get the balance of your account. Be sure to have your tax file number (TFN) handy when you call. The ATO will ask you for it for security purposes before they disclose any personal information to you.
You have to start repaying your HELP debt through the taxation system once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year. For the 2012-13 income year, the compulsory repayment threshold is $49,095.